True Grit is about a man named Tom Cheney who kills another man named Mr. Ross. The daughter of Mr. Ross named Mattie Ross hires John Wayne who plays a marshall named Rooster Cogburn to hunt for Mr. Cheney, capture him and have him hanged. A Texan peace officer goes with them because there is a reward for the capture of Tom Cheney in Texas. They find out that Tom Cheney has joined up with a criminal named Lucky Ned Peppar and they have committed some crimes together. They find a couple of men who work for Ned Peppar and question them about Ned Peppar. Both of the men they have questioned are killed off, but Ned Peppar soon shows up with four of his men and they get in a gun fight with John Wayne and the Texan while Mattie watches on. Ned Peppar and his group go to their hang out in the wilderness and the heroes go there to get them, which results in a great gun fight between John Wayne and the villains.
John Wayne actually won an Oscar for his acting in this movie. His performance definitely deserves an Oscar because he is entertaining and believable as the tough Rooster Cogburn. True Grit would be remade later on with another actor who I can’t remember the name of. I saw the newer version on a plane trip, but John Wayne definitely does the best job as Rooster Cogburn. An older John Wayne was made for the part.
The action in the movie is pretty good. John Wayne, the Texan and Mattie encounter a couple of criminals at a cabin. John Wayne and the Texan then get into a gun fight with Ned Peppar and some other criminals who show up at the cabin. Mattie finally is able to confront Tom Cheney by shooting him twice, but the second time she is knocked by the kick back from the gun into a pit with a couple of poisonous snakes it in. John Wayne has to save her from the snake pit. Also, there is a classic John Wayne action scene in this movie when John Wayne rides his horse towards Ned Peppar and three of his men while holding the reins in his teeth, firing his six gun in one hand and some how firing his rifle, which is highly unbelievable but still looks cool, in the other hand.
There are a couple of amusing characters in this movie, most notably Mattie Ross and Rooster Cogburn. They have some amusing character chemistry together and with the Texan who helps them hunt for the criminals. The part when Mattie actually shoots Tom Cheney for the first time was pretty funny because Tom Cheney was surprised that Mattie actually had the grit to shoot him.
The most suspenseful part in this movie is when Mattie falls into the snake pit. John Wayne has to save her from the pit, and she is poisoned by one of the snakes. Then John Wayne has to quickly get her to a doctor for the poison to be taken care of.
Rooster Cogburn might be one of the best characters John Wayne has ever played. Usually, John Wayne will play a tough and cool but kind of forgettable hero in movies such as Rio Bravo and El Dorado, but in this movie he has some great acting that is more than just beating people up and shooting them. His character of Rooster Cogburn is also memorable with his eye patch, heavy drinking, cantankerous attitude and skill with a gun.
Mattie Ross is a cute girl in this movie and one of the female characters in a John Wayne movie that I like the most, probably one of my three favorites. She is tough and independent when she is able to swim across a river on her horse and shoot the man who had killed her father twice. She is also able to debate better than most people I have seen, which shows she is not only intelligent but also gutsy and spunky, which is good to see in a woman.
The villains in this movie are kind of forgettable, just your typical villains. Lucky Ned Peppar is incredibly average and does not actually get a whole lot of screen coverage and lines aside from having a great gun fight with John Wayne and almost getting the better of John Wayne when he manages to shoot John Wayne’s trusty horse out from under him. This gun fight would later be referenced in the sequel to this movie, which I have already watched and reviewed called Rooster Cogburn.
The movie opens with a nice song. Also, the background music during exciting scenes such as when John Wayne has his fight with the four criminals on horse back or during suspenseful dramatic scenes such as when John Wayne is trying to get Mattie to medical aid when she has been poisoned is very well done.
The setting is the same kind of setting that Rooster Cogburn takes place in with a lot of trees and country side. It is not very memorable for a setting, but it isn’t bad I guess. The open field when John Wayne has his fight on horse back is pretty well used.
True Grit is considered one of John Wayne’s most classic movies and is the only movie that John Wayne won an Oscar for as best actor. With great scenes such as the fight on horse back, it truly is a great and memorable western with the intriguing Rooster Cogburn.